Please fill out a course evaluation before the box closes at the end of the day on Sat, 12/9
Click here for syllabus, which includes course policies, late policy, and reading schedule
This session of the honors sequence will focus on our own vulnerability, emotions, and blindspots to explore the use of affect theory in investigating the narratives that culturally define who, and what, gets counted under the category of “human.” We’ll start by getting familiar with affect theory in relation to empathy, narrative, and readerly reaction by juxtaposing readings of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. We’ll then move into considering how the works of Viet Nguyen’s The Refugees, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West; Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: on Blackness and Being; Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me; and the Amazon series Transparent push us to consider our own personal epistemologies in seeing pasts and future possibilities written out of normative definitions of “the human.”
The writing assignments for this quarter will focus on writing within the public humanities, generally defined as making critical thinking matter for audiences outside the academy. We’ll discuss the differences made in how you write and what you write when addressing readers “inside” versus “outside” of the academy. How do the stakes of writing change? How does the kind of thought that you do change? What kinds of writing most suit the motivations that brought you to Honors English?